Is ‘The Story Of Anvil’ The Greatest Rock And Roll Movie Ever?

Friday February 20, 2009 will be an important day in rock and roll history. Way more important than Friday June 1, 1967 (the release of ‘Sgt Pepper’s…’) or Sunday July 25 the year before that (Dylan going electric).

Well, maybe. For that is the day that sees ‘Anvil – The Story Of Anvil’ hit a silver screen near you. The film that some – well, OK, me – are calling the greatest rock and roll movie of all time.



You won’t of heard of Canadian four-piece Anvil. Few have. They were thrash metal flavour-of-the-monthers back in 1984. They were admired, albeit fleetingly.

The film begins with Slash, Tom Araya from Slayer, Lars Ulrich, Lemmy, Anthrax’s Scott Ian and other metal titans heaping praise on them (“When Anvil came out, it was like, ‘Wow!’ They were the ones to beat” says Slash), interspersed with footage of them rocking a packed stadium to its foundations, playing guitar with a dildo.

Cut to modern day Canada. Astonishingly, we find our heroes – singer/guitarist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and drummer Rob Reiner (no, not that Rob Reiner) – almost a quarter of a century on, in their mid-50s, balding, sagging, delivering school lunches by day, but still going.

And still going not in a “this is a bit of a larf” kind of way, but in a “THIS IS WHAT THE FUCKING WORLD IS WAITING FOR, MAAN!” kind of way.

The film then follows their attempts – their fruitless attempts – to “make it”, but of course ‘Spinal Tap’-esque disaster strikes at every turn. It is hysterical. And tragic. And heartbreaking. And moving. You will cry as much as you laugh.


Think ‘The Office’ Christmas Special if it were about a metal band. Or ‘…Tap’ if you wanna be obvious (there are numerous doffs of the cap to everyone’s favourite spoof rockumentary throughout). In fact don’t think anything. Just watch the trailer below.

Greatest film of all time. Trust me on this one.

Read more about ‘Anvil’ in the new issue of NME, on sale from Wednesday 21 January.

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